David Lehman’s New and Selected Poems

David LehmanDavid Lehman

Speaking of David Lehman, whose review of Ron Padgett’s Collected I just mentioned in the previous post: his New and Selected Poems — a volume that gathers together work from his own long and celebrated career — has just been published, today in fact, by Scribner.

Lehman, who has referred to taking a class with Kenneth Koch at Columbia in the 1960s as an experience that changed his life, is not just a poet whose work displays deep ties to New York School poetics, but is also the author of the indispensable critical study The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets (1998), one of the first to take stock of the movement as a whole.

From the publisher:

Drawing from a wealth of material produced over the course of more than forty years, David Lehman’s New and Selected Poems displays the remarkable range of his poetic genius. A gathering of stunning new poems, prose poems, and translations from modern French masters ushers in the book. Selections from each of Lehman’s seven full-length books of poetry follow and are capped off by a coda of important early and previously uncollected works. Lehman writes poems that captivate as they stimulate thought, poems that capture the romance, irony, and pathos of love, and poems that are lyrical and lovely in unexpected, sometimes even comic ways. This is David Lehman at his best.

Lehman was also interviewed by NPR about the new book this week:

When Lehman started to work on a retrospective collection, it took him two years to sift through what he’d written. The result, New and Selected Poetry, presents samples from his work in reverse chronological order. Over the phone, Lehman told me about his unhelpful anthologizing know-how, his 40-year effort to translate a single poem and why he’s inspired by spy novels.

 You can read the rest of the interview here.

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